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NY Sex Trafficking Couple Charged in Baby Death

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By Laura Strachan, Esq. on October 18, 2010 12:25 PM

A New York couple accused of sex trafficking is adding more charges to their rap sheet: murder of a three month old baby, Carlos Santillana. Domingo Salazar and his wife, Norma Mendez, have been charged with the murder of a baby in a death that involved beating him and then placing the child's remains in a tub full of wet concrete for eleven months. The remains were found following the couple's sex trafficking arrest.

The child is believed to be the son of the girl the couple was trafficking. After Salazar empregnated the girl in Mexico, he brought her to the United States forced her into prostitution as a source of income for the couple. The Wall Street Journal reports that the couple pled guilty to forcing the then 17 year-old mother to work as a prostitute in New York and outlying states.

The additional charges against the couple reads like a laundry list of bad crimes: manslaughter in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, improper disposal of a body, reckless endangerment in the first degree, and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Both Salazar and Mendez are both "criminal aliens" -- a term used to describe aliens that commit a non-immigration crime. When more crimes are charged against individuals than the initial charge, the sentencing is typically delayed until the prosecution can build enough evidence for every crime. In the unique case of Domingo Salazar and Norma Mendez, their case is relatively clear cut and the District Attorney's office hopes that prosecution of the NY sex trafficking couple will remain on schedule.

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